Oulaghan sets sights on Grand National assignments

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  • August 07, 2023
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By Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Awapuni trainer Mark Oulaghan has quickly turned his attention to next weekend’s Grand National meeting following West Coast’s disappointing third placing in the Koral Steeplechase (4250m) at Riccarton on Saturday.

The eight-year-old gelding was a short-priced $1.30 favourite to make it back-to-back wins in the jumping feature but failed to feature until late in the piece when running home strong for third.

Oulaghan was philosophical about the result and believes next Saturday’s 148th Racecourse & Motor Lodge Grand National Steeplechase (5600m) will be more to his gelding’s liking.

“(He) was a bit flat in the middle stages of the race but I don’t think there was a lot of speed on early and it didn’t quite work into his hands,” Oulaghan said.

“They sprinted on from the 1000m and it left him a bit flat-footed.

“He was strong in the last 100m and we will probably get a better rhythm with him next Saturday, we will roll along.”

Oulaghan also recorded a third-placing with Berry The Cash in the Sydenham Hurdles (3100m) ahead of next Saturday’s 133rd Hospitality NZ Canterbury Grand National Hurdles (4200m).

He ran home pretty strongly,” Oulaghan said.

“From a National Hurdles point of view, his was probably quite a good run. We were quite happy with him.” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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